The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2022 Kia Carnival with its Top Safety Pick award when the minivan is outfitted with the LED projector headlights that come with the SX Prestige trim.
While the Carnival came close to scoring the coveted Top Safety Pick+ — the highest honor the IIHS bestows — its base headlights earn a poor rating due to inadequate illumination. To qualify for the higher-tier award, good or acceptable headlights must be standard across trim levels.
However, the minivan did ace six rigorous crashworthiness evaluations — earning good scores across the board. The tests included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
Next, the Carnival had to prove the merits of its crash prevention systems. To earn a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must be available with a front crash prevention system that earns advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
The minivan more than measured up. The Carnival is available with two different front crash prevention systems, one standard and one optional. Both systems garnered superior ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
The Top Safety Pick award goes only to Carnivals built after March 2021. Vehicles built earlier were equipped with different front seats that did not undergo the IIHS head restraint evaluation.